My Journey With World of Warcraft

Sunday, February 26, 2023

I've been thinking about this off and on for a long time. Posting about my thoughts on WoW, about my characters, etc. But largely have fallen into the mindset of "Why would anyone care?". Lately I have been thinking that doesn't matter. Like or not, this site/blog isn't about the readers. It's about me and my hobbies. I don't post stuff here to appeal to people, I post stuff simply because I enjoy talking about things (and if people enjoy it too, great!). So why not WoW?

I have played WoW off and on since vanilla. At first, just because it's where everybody else was in the MMO space, and because EQ jumped the shark for me with it's then recent expansions. I never really enjoyed WoW itself for many years. I just enjoyed doing stuff with friends. Because of that, my experience was always one of catching up to everyone else, and only then getting to have fun. In vanilla I first leveled a Ally Rogue to 42 on a server where I had family. I stopped... well, I forget why. I think it was probably because I was still adjusting to the game, or because I was too on my own then (my family in the game... sucked. This will come into play again later...). After a break, a IRL friend got me to play again and I started leveling up a character on his server to join his guild. Again, a Rogue but this time Horde. I got to 53 and... suddenly he server transferred... Before I ever got to do anything with him in the game. So I ended up switching back to my first character, as at least that was on a server where I knew people. At this point TBC was out, and I was able to get to level 70. I even joined my families guild and enjoyed raiding Karazhan. That... ended abruptly with a falling out with that family, so I completely quit the game.

This is my Rogue as he was when I quit in the TBC era. But this was taken just after I logged back in for the first time during WotLK before server/faction transfering.

Some time later, well... near the end of WotLK, my IRL friend got me to come back to the game. He was even going to pay for a server transfer, so why not? He had me transfer my level 70 to his Horde server even though I had the level 53 Horde rogue. This server was Baelgun, where most of my characters remain to this day. I leveled up, and enjoyed some ICC raiding for a bit! But there was an issue. My friend could barely ever play with me. So I was left to go at it all on my own. In a game that I didn't choose or really enjoy on my own. But I quickly started out-gearing and out-skilling everyone in our guild, and looking for a way to enjoy the game on my own I got frustrated with others holding me back (People not being able to handle the LK fight). So I ended up joining the #1 guild on the server. I raided for a few weeks with them... but it was not at all enjoyable. In part because they were doing 25 mans, and my PC did not handle those well at all. But it was all too... serious I guess. I didn't so much as quit as I simply lost interest in playing.


We didn't kill him. Just took a pic with the boss to celebrate reaching him...

Me in the then top guild on the server.

Again, some time later, at the end of the next expansion, Cataclysm, my friend got me to play again. What enticed me was the idea of doing the Rogue Legendary quest. Coming from EQ before where Epic's were a big deal and fun to work towards, I liked the idea of being able to replicate such feelings in WoW. So I started playing again and... was on my own again. The friend had server hopped yet again, but at least this was the era where cross faction play started. I just rejoined our old guild, and when I was max level I could start working on that Legendary with them. First raid... at the last second, they swapped in a random rogue, which I didn't think much about. Then without even talking to me about it, they gave him the legendary piece from the first boss that I was there for. I was pissed, and left the guild. We talked it out and it blew over, but I was not going to be able to work on the quest with them. So... I started looking for a raid in server channels. One that needed a dedicated Rogue every week, and that would let me work on the quest. Shockingly, I actually ended up finding one! A group from the guild KOTH.

One of many pics I took after getting my Legendary finished.

I started raiding with them and soon found that... while I performed better than everyone else... the gap was not as wide. In fact, they liked my DPS and skill so much (they nick named be BEAST as a partial misunderstanding of my name as U Beast, but in the end because I was "a beast at doing damage") that, to say they made me feel VERY welcome would be an understatement. In my previous guilds, I always felt underappreciated even when I was more or less carrying the DPS at the top of the meters by a wide margin. These guys appreciated it. They acted like THEY were the lucky ones in finding me, not me being lucky and finding them to raid with and work on my quest. And further... in the end they took my performance as a way to motivate themselves. It was awesome to see them all improving just to be able to say they out-dpsed me here and there! I quickly grew to like this group of people far more than any others in my MMO history. It was the perfect fit for me too, as while we did push heroic raid bosses, we still felt very much casual and friendly.

But good things always come to an end. With the release of MoP, we lost a couple key raiders. And struggled to keep the raid going. We would have to PUG to fill slots, but the more skilled of us just couldn't compensate for the failings of others. Certain mechanics were to hard for some, and if one couldn't carry their weight, it was effecting everyone else too much. At this time, the sever was dying too. It was never really a large pop server. But the population was shrinking a LOT then, and it was grueling to try and find people in chat channels. Eventually, for the sake of those of us who were left... we had to try and transfer servers.

We did, but... I didn't realize at the time how hard I got hit. It sapped everything out of me. Shortly after the server transfer... it just hit me like a ton of bricks, how worn out I was with the game. It was the fact that I had to start doing raid leading, recruitment and just the grind of everything. It all got too serious, and not fun anymore. I just stopped playing and... had zero interest in playing again for almost 4 years.

Around the middle of WoD I got... slightly interested in playing again. I found that since I quit, they made some changes that would allow you to level to 20 without an active sub. To most, that seems to restrictive to get any more than a day or two's enjoyment out of it. And to me then as well. But... I reflected on my history with the game, and concluded that I needed to try and redefine how I approach the game. My fun was always defined around others. I never really played the game "because I wanted to". So I completely changed my approach! How I ended up doing it was... I picked a new class and role. This time, a Priest. And a healer no less! Female too! Why not? I made it on the same old deadish sever, but this time Ally. Naturally I got level 20 quickly... then maxed out trade skills. In an effort to keep going, I turned to soloing dungeons for transmog collecting. I wasn't playing as often as I would with an active sub, but I didn't mind. I didn't feel the pressure of having to not waste my sub time. I was 100% free to play when I wanted. What ended up happening was, I mostly played on holiday events and the monthly week long Darkmoon Faire. I'd grind out the various currencies, and buy what I could. If I could use it then, cool. If not... I'd just bank it figuring that eventually Ill probably have a active sub again.

No pics of my Priest during my Trial account era, but this is closest. She was a Worgen at that time.

This went on until around the end of WoD. I guess the trial/veteran account stuff ran its course, but also I think there was a promotion that you could get several weeks of an active sub for free. During that time I leveled my Priest, and started selling off my stockpile of items. I quickly made around 1 million gold from all of it. I think I even learned of converting gold to game time tokens then too. I only played until just after Legion came out though, since I didn't have that expansion. So I stopped playing.

But I did come back part way into the expansion. Believe it or not... to this point, I had never put any money of my own into WoW. Prior to that I just gave a friend gold for him to pay for my sub each month. So when I learned of the token thing, that made things a ton easier for me! But now... I had to pay. I completely lost contact with that friend. So I ended up buying the Legion expansion! I got back to playing and soon found my grove in being able to make enough gold to pay for a token each month. But beyond that, I was making a ton more! Eventually I had about 4 million gold, with a stockpile of 10 tokens, and $100 of battlenet balance (the limit for me). I found how I can enjoy the game. Making gold, and playing casually.

Pic of my Priest immediately after buying a race change to Night Elf for her.

I used that balance to buy a race change (Worgen was not what I thought/wanted), the next expansion, BFA (as well as Shadowlands and now DF). BFA was fine at the start, but my fun with it dropped like a rock very suddenly. So I stopped playing. At this point I did have a habit of coming back for a month here and there or whatever. But I missed most of BFA. Instead, I started playing WoW Classic. I'll not go into this too much here, but my goal was to get an Ateish... and I failed miserably at that, through little to no fault of my own. This time ate away at my token stockpile. After I had to quit classic, I re-established contact with my friend and was coaxed back into retail, then Shadowlands... but I didn't last long. I told him it was too soon. I was not going to enjoy it after that dumpster fire or a time on classic. And... I didn't. I got maybe 2 months out of it? And quit.

But eventually I did start missing WoW again around the end of Shadowlands, so I started playing again. Not because of the next expansion or anything. I knew absolutely nothing about it. I just know that... when reflecting on my history... I tend to enjoy the leveling process with new content. So, regardless of what it is... I'd probably enjoy myself for a couple months in the new expansion. But as I learned about DF, I decided to make some pre-emptive choices. It sounded like the casual content I enjoy was getting reduced, at least for 1 character. They were making things more "alt friendly". Which can also been seen as "alt required". At this point I had my rogue and priest. A warlock too. And a mage and druid. The latter 3 were all alts I leveled up for the sake of freshness during different expansions (mage in wotlk, druid in Cata, warlock in legion). But... that was not enough. I wanted to ensure I had options! So I leveled up... 5 new characters. DK and Monk were old characters I partly leveled at different times but abandoned. Shaman was to be my next project, but was also filling in as my trial account character. I made a brand new Pally. And of course... an Evoker, since its new. Combine all that with 2 DH's that I have been keeping leveled since Legion, just as dedicated farming characters... I now had 12 characters!


Where I am at now as of writing this is, all 12 of my characters are level 70 with 380+ ilvl. I don't really group on them outside of Timewalking. I'll do LFR on some as it seems interesting, but that's it for raiding. Mostly right now they are just warm bodies. Characters I can log in to do world quests and such on to farm gold. With 12 characters, I can spend 10 minutes on each doing all 4 dragon races 2 times a week, and in the end earn enough gold to keep my account going. Anything more is extra.

Since I started playing again before the DF prepatch to now, I have replenished both my token and bnet balance stockpile. I even bought some faction transfers for 4 of my characters. Now 10 or my 12 characters are on the same server and faction.

My current goals are to earn enough gold to buy a bunch of server transfer tokens. You can buy them and not use them. Only using them when you want. I'd like to have that option open for transfering my characters someday. A small server has some advantages, but also obvious disadvantages. It doesn't bother me too much, but... options are nice.

The price of tokens is inflating again now... so I'm not sure how soon I'll reach my goal. But I don't really care. For me a goal in this game is about having a direction. Not about achieving the goal. Once a goal is gone, motivation and interest slip away. I'm not saying I don't want to hit my goals. Just... I don't want to blast towards them asap and ultimately feel like "ok... now what?" then quit.

Anyway. I just wanted to get this out of the way. I'd like to start posting about my thoughts on WoW here, because I can't seem to do it elsewhere like on reddit. Reddit has become a toxic cesspool of down voting into being silenced if you don't follow the popular opinions of a moment like a lemming, and just present your own rational point of view based of fact. Here, my thoughts cant be censored. It's not like I have tons of hot or garbage takes to spit. Heck, I even see MANY people with the exact same views as me. It's just... more than a few no-life trolls who are afraid of anyone having a different opinion than them. Well... I guess that's like modern politic in a nutshell. Maybe thats where all this toxicity came from.

I'm no pro gamer. I'm generally competent at what I play, and history has shown that if I care to, I could play at any level I want in the game. I don't care to though. I'm 100% casual now, and 100% happy with that. So you won't find much value from my posts on WoW other than to relate to someone else, or be exposed to and made aware of a different opinion and perspective. And just because I approach the game a certain way does not mean I think people that do things another way are doing it wrong. I'm casual, but I am perfectly fine with say hardcore raiders existing. At the most, there may be specific subsets of a group I'm against. But I'll save that for other posts. I just figured I'd make sure that anyone reading this knows what to expect.


Sails said...

Keep on doing what you love :)

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